My house is quiet tonight. I just put my beautiful girls to bed and I am about to do my nightly routine and eventually head to bed myself. If my Hubby were home, the night time would usually be the time we would sit and have a glass of wine, talk about our day’s events, watch an episode of one of our favorite shows, or sit on the couch and read a book together. Our love language is Quality Time, so it really never matters what we do as long as the time is spent together.
This time though my Hubby is gone for some training. Such as the life of an Army helicopter pilot. Although the inside of my house is quiet, outside I can hear the night sky is busy! The Apache’s are out shooting rockets at the shooting range about two miles from my house. I live on post and sometimes when the units have night flights you can hear a variation of either Blackhawks, Chinooks, or Apache or some other helicopter or plane fly all through the night. It can get noisy at times!
As awesome as it is to see and hear these helicopter fly, I always worry and have to say a prayer for my pilot when he flies. A military wife always worries about her hubby’s safety, whether home or abroad. Anything can happen even on the way to work riding a motorcycle or driving a car. But when my husband flies and I hear about a helicopter accident, my heart immediately goes out to the pilot’s wives. The Aviation unit of the Army is a small family and we always know someone who knows someone. If someone gets hurt, injured or killed, it hits close to home for all of us.
So, this afternoon when I heard from my husband about a helicopter crash in our last duty station, my heart raced. Critical injuries and as of now no deaths reported. A few weeks before that, I heard of another helicopter accident that unfortunately claimed casualties. My heart went out to the families and especially to the wives and kids. I always relate it to my life and feel especially for the wife and mother who has to explain to her children what happened. It’s hard enough having to explain to your children why “Daddy” has to go away for several weeks or months for work. When they are too young to really understand that, you do your best to keep them busy and keep a close relationship with Daddy through phone calls, FaceTime/Skype, letters and mail.
It’s a life of military that most people do not understand. We say goodbye to our husbands when they deploy or go off to training, uncertain what the future will bring. We prepare for the unthinkable, but pray we never have to experience it. We wait, we keep busy, we run the household the best we can, and count down days till our family is whole again.
My hard-working husband has done five deployments in his Army career so far and each time God has brought him home. Two 12-month deployments and one 15- month deployment as Infantry, two 9-month deployments as Aviation and with God beside him, my husband has made it home safely every time. Not everyone is as lucky. Not everyone gets to come home. And unfortunately,not everyone comes home the same mentally or physically. I am grateful to have my husband whole and home!
On Ford Island this past September, Fisher House did a display of Combat boots to Honor the memories and the sacrifices of the military men and women who gave their lives while serving our country. The boots were collected from military service members across our state and abroad. Each boot displayed a photo of a service member, date of death and what conflict they were serving and around where they were stationed. My husband and I took our daughters to see this display. As my husband walked the many rows, he found boots of buddies who had passed away between 2003-2014. We counted about seven friends and there were probably a few more we didn’t see. Later that night when I listened to my husband explain how each buddy died, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I am always grateful to the good Lord that my soldier came home.
I am a proud military spouse! I love this life of military. Growing up in it and now being married to it, there is a feeling of comfort when I am surrounded by a sea of uniforms. I have had family serve in Army, Air Force, and Navy so any uniform is a good one to see. I am proud of my family members who served. My own brother and brother-in-law now serve. No military spouse will tell you this life is easy, but we do it fully committed to every PCS move, to every training, deployment, and time apart. It’s a love we all share for our soldier that cannot always be explained.
As my heart and prayers go out to the pilots involved in this mornings helicopter crash, I am thinking about my pilot tonight. Praying that God watches over all the men and women away from home, away from family, sacrificing the comforts of home to protect our country.